Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Hilti 12V Green Cross Line Laser Level Review PM 20-CG A12

Hilti 12V Green Cross Line Laser Review PM 20-CG A12
PTR Review
  • Overall Rating 9.5

Hilti has taken an excellent foundation and applied their reputation for tough, jobsite-ready tools to create the Hilti 12V green cross line laser. While the PM 20-CG A12's price may be higher than some of the competition, so is its survivability, and it only takes one of the other guy's lasers failing to make Hilti's quality worth the price.

Overall Score 9.5 (out of 10)

Hilti 12V Green Cross Line Laser Level Targets Jobsite Tough Design

We’ve been super-excited about Hilti Nuron cordless tools, but today we’re shifting our attention to the 12V line. The Hilti 12V green cross line laser level is on our radar, and we wanted to see how the PM 20-CG A12 compares to other lasers we use.


Pros

  • Excellent accuracy
  • Higher visibility and longer range than most green lasers
  • Durable IP54 construction
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion power source

Cons

  • Cost is a bit high for price-sensitive buyers

Hilti 12V Green Cross Line Laser Level Design

Power Source

As you take a tour of this laser, one of the first things to note is that it runs on a Hilti 12V battery. That makes it more expensive than models that use alkaline batteries on the front end, but there are some very real benefits.

Hilti 12V Green Cross Line Laser Review PM 20-CG A12

For one, you’re not throwing away a set of batteries every day. Plus, the cost of those alkalines starts to add up over time.

Using a 4.0Ah battery, one Hilti 12V battery has up to 33 hours of runtime—enough juice to get you through multiple days on the job. It’s far more convenient and less wasteful than using AA or AAA batteries.

Lines and Points

The Hilti PM 20-CG A12 is a cross line and point laser. The vertical line covers 200° and the horizontal beam offer 160°. A simple press of the V/H button on top cycles between both, horizontal only, and vertical only beams.


Hilti 12V Green Cross Line Laser Review PM 20-CG A12

In addition to the center point you get where the beams cross, there are also top/bottom plumb spots and left/right spot at 90° to the laser.

Like most lasers we work with, you can lock the diode to work with slopes or let it self-level up to 4°. The beams blink if you’re outside the self-leveling range.

Accuracy

Hilti dialed in the accuracy to ±0.12-inch at 33 feet (1/8-inch). That’s dead on the professional standard we expect from our lasers, though we have tested ones that are slightly more accurate.

Visibility and Range

Thanks to the green laser, you get more visible range than red lasers. In optimal conditions, expect to see the beam up to an impressive 131 feet. You can extend that out to a full 328 feet using Hilti’s PMA 32 laser detector.

Hilti Laser Detector

To put that in context, most of the green lasers we use are visible to around 115 feet and roughly 260 feet with a detector, so you’re getting some range extension with Hilti’s beam.

Mounting

On its own, you can set the laser on the ground or mount it to a tripod with 1/4-inch threads. Hilti also packs the PMA 89 bracket in the box that includes magnets, a keyhole, 1/4-inch tripod threads, and 5/8-inch tripod threads along with some elevation adjustment, making it more versatile.

Hilti Laser Mounting Bracket

Environmentally Friendly

Most of what we’ve covered so far has been very good, but not necessarily above and beyond what other brands have to offer. Where Hilti raises the bar compared to the competition is with its jobsite readiness. Both the battery and laser have overmolding to offer some protection against bumps and falls.

What’s more impressive is the IP54 ingress rating the PM 20-CG A12 earns. According to the IP rating scale, that means dust can’t get in on a level that affects operation and splashing water won’t hurt it. Can your cross line laser do that?

Additional Highlights

  • Beams blink when the battery is nearly out of juice
  • Class 2 laser (no precautionary measure required)
  • Receiver mode for longer distance measuring with a laser detector

Additional Options

We really like this model as a go-to laser level for Pros who need reliability and the longer runtime of a lithium-ion power source. However, there are a couple of other options to if this isn’t quite what you need.

  • PM 20-CG: Identical specifications with a AA-battery power source
  • PM 20-CGE: Increases the accuracy to 1/16-inch over 33 feet

Hilti 12V Green Cross Line Laser Level Price

If you already have batteries and a charger, the laser with the mounting bracket and soft case is $460.80. You can customize your kit from there, and Hilti recommends a pair of 2.6Ah batteries and charger to go with it. That configuration runs $577.30.

If you’re using Hilti’s fleet services, that’s $18.00 per month for just the laser or $22.25 per month for the kit.

The laser is part of Hilti’s 20-2-1 warranty program, including calibrations for the first two years. Hilti Fleet Services include unlimited calibrations.

The Bottom Line

Hilti has taken an excellent foundation and applied their reputation for tough, jobsite-ready tools to create the Hilti 12V green cross line laser. While the PM 20-CG A12’s price may be higher than some of the competition, so is its survivability, and it only takes one of the other guy’s lasers failing to make Hilti’s quality worth the price.

Hilti 12V Green Cross Line Laser Level Specifications

  • Model: Hilti PM 20-CG A12
  • Power Source: Hilti 12V battery
  • Accuracy: ±0.12 in per 33 feet
  • Range: 131 feet visible, 328 feet with receiver
  • Ingress Rating: IP54
  • Self-Leveling Range: ±4°
  • Price: $460.80 bare
  • Warranty: 20 years

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